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The International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) happily announces the appointment of Francesco Candelari, Italy, as International Coordinator, to begin duty in mid-January 2012 in the International Secretariat in Alkmaar, Netherlands. Francesco, 30, is a member of the Italian branch of IFOR and brings to the position a personal commitment and extensive international and non-profit experience.
The International Coordinator is IFOR's chief executive officer and as such responsible for the International Secretariat. This includes the facilitation of IFOR's network and oversight of IFOR's programmatic activities, which are the Women Peacemakers Programme (WPP) and IFOR's representatives to the UN.
IFOR as an international network exists since 1919, but the spark for its existence came from an international peace conference held in Constance, Germany, in 1914, at the eve of World War I. Its vocation is to work for peace and nonviolence and against war, for reconciliation and against injustice. IFOR's members share a commitment to respect every human being and thus to nonviolence. They believe that reconciliation is possible and that nonviolence is the way of peace. IFOR now has 80 members in 48 countries, many of whom are heavily engaged in human rights work, peace building, peace education and training.
Regarding his vision for IFOR, Francesco says: "An organization that counts among its past and current members seven Nobel peace laureates should assume a leading role in conflict resolution and interfaith dialogue at the international level."
According to IFOR President Hansuli Gerber, the appointment of a new International Coordinator comes at a time of great uncertainty and great opportunity. Anticipating its centennial in 2014, IFOR is challenged, alongside with many other initiatives, to stand for just peace, nonviolence and reconciliation, Gerber said.
Francesco Candelari was born in Torino, Italy, on 10 January 1981. Since his early life, while his friends and classmates in elementary school where watching Tom and Jerry, he was educated by his father at reading Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Culturally filled with nonviolence, he understood at the age of 19 that his vocation in life would have also been knowing people all over the world, listen to their stories, write their stories and connect them.
In 2000, he went to Burkina Faso thinking he would have been a missionary and in fact he was saved by the locals leaving behind all pretentious ethnocentric approaches. Since then he travelled and lived in four continents. Paris 2003, India 2005-2006, New York 2008-2011 have been his most important steps in his recent personal and professional life.
He worked in the field level while in India and at the institutional level in New York as the United Nations Crime Research Institute (Unicri) Representative to the UN Headquarters.
Francesco is also a journalist.
Picture: The Herald
FoRE's recent letter of support to Michael Lyons, the navy medic imprisoned for objections to particular conflicts (see news archive) inspired one member to make prison visits. What follows are his accounts of the visits.
I have been too Colchester a handfull of times, the first was to visit Colchester Castle and the Medieval exhibition there on pre and post reformation artifacts. I had never ventured into the Garrison town. I guess most people don't unless your army so it's off the radar for civilians.
What struck me as I left the culturally rich and spiritually alive historical town centre and approached the 'functional' dwellings for army families was a sense of souless oppression. Sitting in the waiting area of the Millitary Corrective Unit echoed this sentiment as the deep windowsills caught my attention and realising with walls nearly a meter thick what the function of this place was. As the predominantly female visitors filed in I couldn't help but think that the bland functionalism of the Garrison layout cannot be applied to the functionalism within family life for these poor women. Michael later confirmed this for me by highlighting the fact most of his fellow inmates were in for AWOL to sort out family problems.
Michael is an extremely bright and witty young man and the first topic of conversation between us was him explaining how he was young and niave when he signed up for the Navy but now over half a decade later is a different man.
Ben Griffin later spoke about this from his first hand Gulf War experience and as personel get older they get wiser thus being a danger to young fighting men they have programmed for killing.
Michael went on to tell me how he had been called a 'cancer' by a superier confirming the reason for his incarceration is to quarentine him from spreading the idea of objecting to war into the other men.
My half hour alone with Michael was a humbling experience. For a man I'd never met before in extreme circumstances for both of us, he was very easy to talk to and relaxed. We talked about his plans when he gets out and the freedoms that come with civillian life. He mentioned that the pressure is on his wife financially as the army have stopped his pay whilst they detain him and obviously travel to and fro from Portsmouth to Colchester isn't cheap.
I asked him the turning point in his desicion to object to deployment to Afghanistan and he explained it had a lot to do the allocation of medical treatments that was explained to him. The example he stated was if an Afghan family approached him as Navel Medic to administer treatment for their daughters incurrable bowel disease he would have to refuse them on the grounds of reserving medical resources.Michael took umbridge at his superior on this issue explaining that atleast he should be able to administer pain releif for a dignified endurance of the condition thus quickly finding out that disagreement with forces policy isn't an option.
Michael is hoping to qualify as a Doctor when he gets out.
A remarkable shift in roles for even as a Navey Medic he had to be trained in how to take anothers life and ultimately his refusal to undergo rifle training was the backbone of his 'conscientious objector' application.
As we all left the correction unit, myself, Father Martin Newell and Ben Griffin all felt we had given strength to this remarkable lad. Michaels mum was with us at the meeting and was extremely gratefull for our support thus giving a lovely speech after at the vigil on the gates attended by 15-20 people.
On the 3/09/2011 I embarked on my second visit to Michael Lyons currently residing in Colchester Military Correction Unit for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan.
It was a beautiful sunny morning and I felt more relaxed this time round knowing now the formalities and procedures of the unit. As it was an a.m visit the visting party was smaller with no sniffer dogs. The duty guard that ushered us in I noticed had my family name on his uniform ID to the exact spelling and we shared some breif family history. He being from Aberdeen, I explained my Grandad's predicament of having to leave Glasgow for Dagenham Fords works on the decline of the Clyde shipbuilding industry.
Even though we had initial formalities last time of meeting someone for the first time in strange circumstances etc I still found Michael very easy to get on with. This time round it was extremely relaxed and with all the formalities of introduction dealt with last time I feel we talked sincerely and openly from the heart.
He looked very well indeed and obviously has a very strong spirit which radiates through him. We talked about the politics surrounding his situation and I explained a little of my past experiences as an ex Marxist and once member of the Communist Party before my conversion to Catholicism. I was pleased to find Michael was already very aware of the surrounding political persuasions ready to use his case to suit their own particular ideologies and I likened his moral objection to war as a pure flame of conscience that could very easliy be stifled and extinguished by the the surrounding impure politics.
I left some reading material with the guards for Michael on second world war objector Blessed Franz Jägerstätter and I very much hope they allow him access to it once they've assessed it.
Last Sunday (9th Oct) I made my final visit to Michael Lyons on the eve of his possible release at his appeal that coming Thur. Unfortunately Michael lost his appeal and now has the remaining four or so weeks to serve of his sentance. Michael didn't hold much confidence in positive outcomes from this appeal and was simply looking forward to the day to spend some time with his wife whom he only gets to ring three times a week.
My visits coincide with the 'First Fridays' of the month which have become 'Pro-Life' days originating with Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque who promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in its modern form and the idea of making reparation for the sins of others is also prominent in the messages given by Our Lady to the children at Fatima in 1917. We discussed that Michael would be released a week before the next 'First Friday' weekend and from that point onwards we would keep contact via email.
Over the three visits I've made to Michael I've found a similar soul outraged and at the same time greived by the injustice around us that ultimately led him to take his stand and landed him in incarceration. We discussed the demise of the antiwar movement due to political highjacking this being highlighted by the dismal turnout at the antiwar march in London last Saturday (8th Oct) and how much more effective it would be with the church behind it and without people being turned off by the ideological motives of the few blurring the peace message.
Michael read the Catholic Truth Society material I left him on my last visit regarding Blessed Franz Jägerstätter and as an Austrian conscientious objector during World War II who was sentenced to death, executed, later declared a martyr and beatified by the Catholic Church he found it inspirational even himself not being of any particular faith. Michael also passed this material on to another Catholic he knew of at the detention centre.
On departing Michael thanked me again for visiting him during his sentance and stated he was glad to have someone of a similar mind to chat too. My parting thoughts were will I be visiting anyone else in the near future who see's Michaels bold stand and begins to grow a conscience from a small seed planted by anothers actions that result in the laying down of their own weapon of war.
We hope and pray.
A message of sympathy was sent by the Trustees, members, supporters, and staff of FoR England to the country of Norway, via FOR Norway on Monday this week, following the horrific incidents of the weekend.
The message speaks of deep sorrow and sympathy, and continues:
"We wish to express our condolences and solidarity with ...all the peoples of Norway. All our prayers are with and for you. [A member of FOR Norway is currently with us on a two-month internship, and]... we are giving her as much support and comfort as we can...Our work of reconciliation and the healing of the world has never been so urgent! God bless you all. In Fellowship."
The weather symbolism was not lost. Dark clouds had gathered over Europe in 1914 when FoRE's founders met to build up spiritually-based resistance to armed conflict. Through their meeting, a light of hope for a different way set the groundwork for what became the legal right to conscientious objection, parliamentary discussion towards the formation of what became the European Union, and a global reconciliation movement.
Dark clouds had gathered over Oxford on the morning of FoRE's summer garden party. Gloom was everywhere. The atmosphere felt cold, eerie, and relentless. But just as it felt too late, there was a glimmer of hope. A brighter light started to break through the dark clouds. The mood lifted, and all hope for the day was not lost.
Such was the beginning of what turned out to be a sunny and bright afternoon for those attending the FoRE Summer Garden Party 2011. The combination of cream tea and changeable weather could not have made this a more British event; one which was shared enthusiastically with those from other countries and cultures.
Although planned as such, this was not simply a party to thank members and financial supporters of the charity's work - though the Chair's speech made clear that this was valued as always. It turned out to be something additional; a valuable networking opportunity with many NGO and faith group representatives making contact - some for the first time.
The impromptu networking comes at an interesting time for the charity, which is bolstering its position in readiness to announce a new strategic plan later in the year. A member of staff, commenting on both the weather and the networking, noted; 'there are no dark clouds of war forming within Europe itself that we can see today. But the clouds still gather across the globe, and the work is still urgent. We're working on campaigning with decision-makers, financing ground-level peacemakers in conflict transformation work overseas, and educating a message to young adults. These broad work areas remain important pieces of work for the organisation.
What has changed is the fact that the generations who remember those dark clouds of European war first- or second-hand are passing on. It's become time to engage the Facebook generation who think and communicate globally, but who can feel just as passionately about human justice issues as any previous culture. A lot has changed. Spiritual over religious. Praxis over belief. Online over print. Global over national. But this passing on of the baton hasn't lessened the need for our work.'
The Fellowship of Reconciliation, England (FoRE) , welcomes the passing of the notice of motion on "Concern over Drones and their use" by the Methodist Conference on 7th July 2011. FoRE began campaigning against the destructive impact of military armed drones last year because of their association with high civilian casualties, legally questionable 'targeted killings', and the danger that they create a 'Playstation Mentality' to warfare .
The Motion read:
"The Conference expresses concern at the increased use of 'drones' as weapons delivery platforms and especially at the evidence from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Gaza that such use places civilians at increased risk of injury and death.
The Conference asks the Joint Public Issues Team to make a preliminary study in order to guide the Conference of 2012 on the particular ethical issues relating to these weapon systems."
The passing of the motion was strongly supported and welcomed by Mr. Denis Beaumont, Chair of the Methodist Peace Fellowship, and a Trustee of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, England.
The debate was addressed by Bishop Humpfrey Peters, Bishop of Peshawar, Pakistan, who said that "for every targeted individual killed by a drone, around 10 other civilians are killed."
The Director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Millius Palayiwa said, "Armed drones are not in fact the precision weapons that arms manufacturers portray. They often kill indiscriminately, leaving ordinary lives devastated. The passing of this motion is a great boost to the Fellowship's campaign against the use of these weapons."
Contact - Amy Hailwood +44(0)1865 250781
At its Annual Council on 14th May 2011, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, England (FoRE), issued a Statement of Council reaffirming the support the Fellowship has given to Conscientious Objectors for almost 100 years, and calling upon Her Majesty's Government to respect and reinforce the specific rights of Conscientious Objectors.
We further wrote to the Minister for the Armed Forces to express our concerns, and included the full Statement of Council. The Statement was in respect of Mr Michael Lyons, a navy medic who was due to appear before a court martial in Portsmouth.
FoRE is saddened and dismayed at the court's decision to sentence Michael Lyons to seven months imprisonment. We condemn the seven months sentence, and request that it be commuted or annulled.
Please join us in action. Write to:
Mr Nick Harvey MP
Minister for the Armed Forces
Fellowship of Reconciliation (FoRE) Director Millius Palayiwa gave a warm welcome today to new research from the Oxford Research Group (ORG) that highlights the clear legal responsibilities that those authorising drone strikes have, to confirm and report who they have killed. The report, Drone Attacks, International Law and the Recording of Civilian Casualties of Armed Conflict, was published yesterday at an event at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy and is available here www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/news
Researched and compiled by a team of lawyers, the report identifies an existing but previously unacknowledged requirement in international law for those who use or authorise the use of drone strikes to record and announce who has been killed and injured in each attack and clearly indicates that drones don't allow hit and run.
FoRE director Millius Palayiwa, a barrister by professional background said:
"This detailed and timely report rightly focuses the debate on military drones back onto well established norms of international humanitarian law and human rights law, norms that are in danger of being ignored by states and profitable drone manufacturers.
Reminding states of their legal obligation to record civilian casualties also calls us all to look with fresh eyes at the misperception that drones are a clean, precise and efficient way of dealing with human conflict. In reality, many of the victims of drone attacks have been ordinary families whose relatives are left distraught.
Following the Ministry of Defence's May 2011 commitment to double the number of UK Reaper drones in operation in Afghanistan, at a cost of £135 million; Oxford Research Group's report is a very welcome contribution to the work of a growing number of deeply concerned NGOs, academics and activists, who want to see much higher levels of parliamentary scrutiny and public debate on the rise of military drones."
Contact: Amy Hailwood +44 (0)1865 250 781
Picture: The Herald
We have issued a statement of support for navy medic, Michael Lyons, who faces a court-martial in Portsmouth on Friday 20th May, following the refusal of his application for Conscientious Objector status. The statement reads:
The Annual Council of Fellowship of Reconciliation, England  meeting in Oxford on 14th May:
1. The Fellowship of Reconciliation, FoR(E), is a spiritually-based movement committed to active nonviolence as a means of personal, social, economic and political transformation. FoR England is part of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation.
2. Full information regarding this issue is available from UK NGO Forces Watch www.forceswatch.net who provided the following details:
Michael Lyons, a naval medic, will face a court-martial in Portsmouth on Friday 20 May. He asked not to participate in rifle training last September after having applied for conscientious objector status. This application was turned down and was also rejected by the Advisory Committee on Conscientious Objection (ACCO) in December. Michael's objection was based on medical ethics, which led him to believe that injured people should be treated equally whatever their nationality. He also objects to the level of civilian casualties in Afghanistan. But ACCO told him his objection was 'political' rather than 'moral'.
Contact: Millius Palayiwa +44 (0)1865 250 781
We, representatives of European branches of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation*, meeting from April 29 - May 1 2011 in the Wycliffe Center near High Wycombe (UK),
*IFOR / MIR has 85 branches, groups and affiliates in 51 countries on all continents. Its membership includes adherents of all the major spiritual traditions as well as those who have other spiritual sources for their commitment to nonviolence.
Founded in 1914 at the eve of war in Europe, IFOR has taken a consistent stance against war and its preparation throughout its history. Perceiving the need for healing and reconciliation in the world, the founders of IFOR formulated a vision of the human community based upon the belief that love in action has the power to transform unjust political, social, and economic structures.
For all UK enquiries, contact The Fellowship of Reconciliation, England
Director Mr Millius Palayiwa
email@example.com (Contact Us),
+44 (0)1865 250781,
For international enquiries see www.ifor.org.
A forgotten comic published by the Fellowship of Reconciliation USA in 1958 has been credited with inspiring a generation of young activists across North Africa and the Middle East.
The Montgomery Story, which is about Martin Luther King's philosophy on nonviolent civil disobedience, includes a "how-to" section that demonstrated how nonviolence in practice can yield results.
The comic - now translated into Arabic and Farsi by the American Islamic Congress (AIC) - was not without its problems in production. Printing was blocked by a security officer who, upon meeting Dalia Ziada, the Director of AIC, to discuss his concerns, asked for more copies so he could pass them to his children.
Ziada is quoted in Time Magazine as saying: "The main message I hope that Arabic readers will take from the Martin Luther King comic is that change is not impossible. It is time to stop using our muscles blindly. Let's try using our intellect in innovative, creative ways to pressure decision-makers and dictators, tytants and the suppression practiced against us".
Copies were distributed in Egypt, Morocco, Yemen, and throughout the region.
If you are interested in reading the 1958 (English) version, electronic copies are available and a limited supply of reprinted hardcopies are available at £1.50 ($3) via FOR USA. Contact us.
Oxford Council of Faiths - now established in the City of Oxford - has for the past three years sponsored the annual Interfaith 'Friendship Walk' through the historic city. This 'friendship walk' is one of the earliest such walks in the UK; a point which makes the Oxford Council of Faiths an important part of the story of inter-faith dialogue in this country as a whole.
The Fellowship of Reconciliation England is one branch of the world's largest interfaith peacemaking organisation, and its HQ, Peace House, serves as an important national centre for peace and justice work. Oxford Council of Faiths will be meeting at Peace House in the near future to plan future friendship walks.
Charity Director Millius Palayiwa commented:
'We are delighted that this local faith Council will be using our venue to meet. Friendship walks are a simple idea but they play a crucial role in the work towards social cohesion in our own country. These parades are a great chance for people of faiths to walk together, to make friends and share meals, and in so doing make a public statement to other residents that there is no need to be afraid of our differences; that there is more that connects than divides.'
Added since news item release
Over 700 attended the 2011 walk
He continued, 'Our charity is largely concerned with educating in the UK, and conflict resolution through non-violence and reconciliation overseas, but social cohesion at home is also a focus. The movement begun by this local Council, in having interfaith walks, should be supported by all who can do so. Our opportunity as a national charity to support our local group is a way for us to support those in our local community who want to send a message of peace to our home town.'
This years' Oxford interfaith friendship walk takes place on Tuesday 14th June. See www.oxcof.org.uk for more details. Inter Faith Week in 2011 will take place in England and Wales from Sunday 20 November until Saturday 26 November. A resolution on an annual World Interfaith Harmony Week each February was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in October 2010.
Seven young monks and nuns from Plum Village peace community in the Dordogne region of the South of France, students of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, visited one of England's National Centres for Peace and Justice in Oxford on Sunday. The disciples shared their personal experience of Buddhism's art of awakened living, and talked about the beloved community as a form of social transformation. The visit was a formal part of their 'UK Wake Up' Tour, where the brothers and sisters are mainly visiting UK higher education institutions with their lessons in peace and mindfulness.
They spoke at the HQ of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, England (FoRE), Peace House, on Sunday 13th prior to their speaking at Mansfield College, Oxford. Their presence reminded many attendees of the long-standing connection between the host charity's Fellowship movement and the students' world-famous master and best-selling author. Remembering these decades-long connections himself, Thich Nhat Hanh gave the visiting monks and nuns a framed calligraphy artwork to pass on to FoRE. The artwork reads 'Peace is Every Step', and will be placed on the wall of the main meeting room at Peace House.
In 1968 The International Fellowship of Reconciliation, of which Oxford-based FoRE is a Branch, invited Nhat Hanh on a speaking tour seeking an end to the war in Vietnam. This was the beginning of his appearances across America and Europe. Together with Alfred Hassler, IFOR General Secretary, he founded a new movement called "Dai Dong", which attempted to bring about a coalition of peace and human rights organizations with scientists concerned about environmental problems. Dai Dong pointed to the inter-connectedness of economics, environment, poverty, human rights, and peace, and organised an Alternative Conference on the environment to the UN Stockholm conference in 1972. Nhat Hanh continues to be concerned about such issues, as his recent book, 'The World We Have*', demonstrates.
The teacher's message has to do with the impermanence of all things, and using the knowledge of this to enable both inner peace and promote international and environmental harmony all at once. His Plum Village monks and nuns are clearly familiar with this logic. One monk spoke of leaving the US Army at the outbreak of the latest Iraq war in order to walk a Buddhist path and make both his self and the world more peaceful; his several Army colleagues died on the front line just weeks after he had left. One nun spoke about visiting the Order's highly successful monastery in Vietnam to help monastics facing physical violence from the country's Communist government. Another shared about how the tools they learn for greater mindfulness in Plum Village are also being used in a conflict mediation setting with visitors from Palestine.
One member of staff concluded: "Activism, beloved community, and "inner peace" spirituality are not new to the global peace movement. Indeed, they are all quite "in" right now. What is new is how they come together in the lives of these monastics, and in their famous master's teachings. It is very encouraging to hear about young adults turning away from consumer individualism and getting into a radical activism grounded in beloved community and lived spirituality together. Who knows if it's the final answer to all the world's problems, but it's easy to see how such a model could be replicated even in urban settings. At a time when many religious traditions are reconnecting with mystical roots of faith, such a model needn't base itself just on Buddha dharma either. This Wake Up tour should turn out to be both a call to action and deeper loving faith everywhere for our country's young men and women."
*Other online bookshops exist.
Muriel Lester, one of our founders
Women have been vital to the growth of IFOR and the wider peace movement. This year, to mark 100 years of the International Womens' Day, FoRE will be releasing downloadable resources for use as a chance to celebrate the inspiring stories of women peacemakers, and consider what role we can all play in the future of the peace movement.
Using personal stories and reflections, this resource - a first for such downloadable resources - will both challenge and inspire individuals to consider how next to change the world. Based on distributions of print materials in previous years, the charity is expecting the number of downloads to be very high.
We are delighted to announce that Network for Peace (NfP) have selected our Peace House - the new national Centre for Peace and Justice work - as the venue for their annual meeting and guest speaker event.
The event is to take place on Saturday 26 February, 2:30 to 4:30pm at Peace House, and is a public meeting. Guest speaker Pat Gaffney, of Pax Christi, has recently returned from the Israel/Palestine region to learn more about life under occupation and create solidarity links with those working for peace and justice. She will be talking about her experiences at the event, entitled 'Israel/Palestine, The Untold Stories'.
A spokesperson for FoR England said that, "since the Network for Peace plays such a pivotal role in the cross-pollenation of work and ideas within the peace movement for the UK, we are delighted that they have chosen our new Centre to host their annual event".
The Fellowship of Reconciliation, England (FoRE) offered prayers of peace and hope for lasting reconciliation in the Sudan as the Sudanese peace process reaches a key moment with this weekend's referendum. Prayers were offered as part of the Fellowship's commitment to creating peace around the globe.
Millius Palayiwa, Director of FoRE, said "I hope the referendum goes peacefully well and that all concerned will dutifully honour, respect and accept the result". Reflecting on personal experience of brokering peace, he said, "From my involvement with the Sierra Leone Peace Process I know how important it is for all parties to a conflict (from bottom to top) to be reconciled with each other for the good of all and the creation of a "beloved community", and for the Regional and International Organs to support and be guarantors to a peaceful resolution of a conflict". The message ends promising the thoughts and prayers of all FoRE members in England this coming Sunday.
The message of prayerful support is one of the many ways FoRE lives out a global commitment to peace and nonviolence. Speaking today, John Cooper, the fundraiser for FoRE's international work, said, "Political transition can test many peoples' commitment to peace as previously-comfortable power structures change or move. We often receive applications from grass-roots peacemakers who want to provide people with the ability to voice their opinion through raised voices rather than raised fists".
Reply from Moses John at Sudan FOR: 'I have received FOR England Press release in good order and have ...shared it with my colleagues at Sudanese Network for Democratic Elections (SuNDE) a network of more than 75 non partisan civil society organizations from around 10 states of Southern Sudan with partners in Northern Sudan. SONAD and Sudan Council of Churches are among members of the Coordinating team for the referendum as domestic observers.'
FoRE launched our latest briefing on the rapid rise of armed drones in conflict at the Drone Wars conference in London on 18th September, and it is now available to the public.
The detailed briefing, "Convenient Killing: Armed Drones and the 'Playstation Mentality'", provides an overview of the rise of Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, in armed conflict. It raises a number of serious concerns about the introduction of armed drones into modern warfare, including high levels of civilian casualties, the use of drones in targeted killings and the idea of a 'Playstation Mentality' whereby the geographical and psychological distance between the drone operator and target lowers the threshold for launching an attack.
The Drone Wars conference brought together over 80 academics, peace activists, and concerned citizens. Delegates took part in a range of talks and workshops aiming to find practical ways of challenging this new, lethal, robotic technology that is being brought in with very little public debate.
To order hardcopies by post, please contact us.
FoR England is delighted to announce the publication of 'Active Nonviolence Across the World', by Richard Deats. Deats is both a great writer, and a former Executive Director of FOR USA. His other titles include biographies of Martin Luther King, Jr. and of Gandhi.
In this new title, highlights from the past four decades educate as to how active nonviolence produces effective results through use of example. This provides an alternative history which makes for a fascinating read. The examples Deats chooses will stir memories for the reader, and while such examples rarely make sensational news reading, having them set out in one volume is a powerful reminder of just how many instances of nonviolence in action there have been throughout the last 40 years.
"More and more, active nonviolence is taking the centre stage in the struggle for liberation among oppressed peoples across the world".
This title, published initially by FOR USA, sold 2,000 copies in the first six months of this year. This is a second impression, with simultaneous US and UK editions. A spokesperson for the UK edition said, 'Flimsy pamphlets are out. We are looking to build on the success of our publishing programme, which has a history almost as long as FOR itself. We are also looking to build on quality, so that we can focus on monographs which will have a wide readership and influence on the peace and justice scene. Authors will want to consider FOR moving forward. You only need to look at the recently published Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace to see the level of profile the International Fellowship of Reconciliation - of which we are a part - has within the peace movement.'
Improvements in FoR England's new media publishing have also been made. The new website holds, for the first time, details of all titles published and sold by FoRE - including stock levels, and an online request system for publications. The addition of a mobile toolbox, page share options, and the continuation of Twitter and RSS feeds on the site show how this charity is maximising the use of a range of media for different audiences and purposes.
Note: Discounts are available on the Deats title for newly registered members and supporters.
FoRE has appointed a new Director, Mr Millius Ncube Palayiwa. Millius has gained great experience in working alongside a wide spectrum of people locally, nationally, and internationally. He had his early education in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), has a BA (History) University of Rhodesia, BD (Divinity) New College, University of London, MA (Law) Oriel College, University of Oxford, and other qualifications in Law and Canon Law.
He has wide and varied experience in these posts and comments: "I am totally and unwaveringly committed to the non-violent prevention and resolution of conflict, through early warning systems, preventative diplomacy and post conflict peace building. My work both at QPS and IA was 90% conflict resolution."
Drone Wars is a one day conference in London on September 18th to explore the growing use of armed, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), otherwise known as drones. Drones are remote controlled, unmanned aircraft that fire missiles at the touch of a joystick. With operators safely located in trailers 8,000 miles away from the combat, drones offer the illusion of warfare that is clean, tidy and safe. But does this 'playstation mentality' make killing more permissible and likely?
Armed drones are used by Britain, US and others at great human cost and often in breach of humanitarian law. Used in war and for targeted killings this technology is being used by the UK with little public debate.
As well as information about drones, there will be workshops on Britain's arms industry and drones, the use of surveillance drones in the UK, Israel's use of drones in Gaza and elsewhere, international law and drone war, the future of robotic weapons, local campaigning and more. Join other peace activists and researchers to investigate how to down the drones.
Date: Saturday 18th September 2010, 10am - 4pm
Venue: University of London Union, Malet Street
Cost: (includes buffet lunch) £10.00/£6.00 conc
For more information and to register, contact Mary at The Fellowship of Reconciliation, England
T: 01865 250781
E: maryATfor.org.uk (replace AT with @)
on Drone Wars
Welcome to the world of 'network-centric warfare', a paradigm shift in the way that wars and undeclared wars are being fought, where operators dispatch 'targets' at the touch of a joystick, behind the safety of a computer screen - the world of drone technology.
A technology that was once the stuff of video games and science fiction is now a reality. The use of robotic weapons delivery systems has the potential to massively change the way that wars are fought in the future and it is being brought in now, with almost no public debate.
This briefing aims to provide a basic overview of what drones are, their rapid proliferation and use, some key issues of concern that this raises and what is becoming known about Britain's use of drones.
As the general election is now imminent FoR, as part of the Network of Christian Peace Organisations (NCPO) has helped to produce an election briefing on peace and reconciliation issues.
The briefing focuses on the issue of the Middle East, the arms trade, nuclear weapons and military spending and has some suggested questions for asking parliamentry candidates.
As the Government undertakes its strategic defence review and the nation prepares for a General Election, FoR and Pax Christi believe that this is an opportune time for the Christian community to offer a creative and live-giving approach to security that puts people â especially the poor â at its centre. We need to ensure that a radical evaluation of security policies is central to both of these processes.
As part of this initative we have produced Security for the Common Good: a Christian challenge to military security strategies and Addressing the real wounds of the human family: call to action, copies of which are attached. Our aim is to use the Call to Action and the briefing document to engage churches, diocese, congregations and individuals in dialogue and advocacy work in the months ahead
âThey dress my peopleâs wound without concern: âPeace! Peace!â they say, but there is no peace. They should be ashamed of their abominable deeds. But not they!â (Jeremiah 6:14-15)
The first decade of the twenty-first century has seen increased global polarity. Iraq, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Israel-Palestine, Congo, are just some of those countries that continue to be torn apart by war and conflict, many in the name of the âwar on terrorâ, others in the drive to secure access to and control of natural resources. As well as the obvious human costs, the opportunity costs of these wars are incalculable: lack of investment in social and development projects, the displacement of people, the destruction of essential infrastructure within countries, the fuelling of suspicion and hatred within and between communities. As with the people at the heart of Jeremiahâs cry, millions today are offered a false and dangerous peace which not only ignores but often exacerbates the real suffering of the human family and the very planet.
For decades the discussion on peace and security has been dominated by proponents of the âmight is rightâ model, arguing that national self-interest and the protection and security of others is best achieved by military means. The time has come to turn away from this false and short-sighted model in favour of a model of sustainable human security that puts people â and especially the poor - at its centre. Such a model is consistent with the social teachings of many churches which seek to build global solidarity between peoples â solidarity that heals the wounds of war, the violation of rights, poverty and the destruction of the environment.
Copyright © 2012, The Fellowship of Reconciliation, England || +44 (0)1865 250781 || Charity No. 207822 ||
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